Hmmm.....which one of these is not like the others?
I'd say the middle one. The book on the left and the book on the right both feature real-life Saints, while the one in the middle features a character who, dear as she is to me, I must admit is imaginary. But these three books do have something in common.
No, I don't mean that they're all on my first-thing-you-see-when-you-enter-the-house bookshelf (though that's true enough), and no again - they're not all Great Books, not really. I'll have to excuse the one in the middle on that count (a really good book, yes, but not Great in the official sense of the term). In fact, what they have in common has something to do with Marcel's Book Club. Can you guess?
No, we're not going to read them all in MBC. (Did I hear a sigh of relief coming from the Peanut Gallery?)
Rather, the book in the middle features Elizabeth's paradise project which got us started with Marcel's project for us - namely, reading St. Therese's Story of a Soul, one chapter per month throughout 2019 for our own little taste of Paradise. That's Marcel's Book Club (or MBC as we say for short).
Which explains the first two books (reading left to right), but what about St. Thomas and the Summa? Well, I thought we'd have our first post on Chapter One of Story of a Soul this coming Monday, January 28th - the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas!
Are you ready?
I may find myself reading quickly on Monday morning so as to get our post up by Monday night, but that's just me. You may be way ahead (like have it read by Sunday night), or you might be a worse procrastinator than I am! But if you don't get Chapter One read by the time our first post is up Monday, please don't fear, don't worry, don't panic, and for Heaven's sake, don't think it's all over. This is a very merciful and forgiving book club! Remember who's in charge. Would Marcel give you a hard time for resisting the charm of this wonderful book he's assigned us? If he does, just remind him that he resisted too, way back in the day. He tells us in his Autobiography that he was quite annoyed when he randomly chose this book (eyes closed) from the Saints' collection available to him!
The whole truth is that for our January assignment (Chapter One), you have at least until Friday, when February begins and we start thinking about Chapter Two, but if our first MBC meeting is in the last week of January, this could mean a grace period (get it?) with Chapter Two in the distance toward the end of February. Plus we might find so much to talk about in Chapter One that, try as we might to plunge ahead, we won't be able to turn the pages that quickly. Only God knows!
The exciting (and I must say liberating) part for me is that St. Thomas Aquinas has offered to host our first meeting, and he's ready! Believe it or not, I already know what he's planning to say - it's something he said to me about a month ago, and I've been waiting for what feels like forever to share his wisdom with you, but to him I'm saying, "Hey, St. Thomas, this is perfect for MBC! Save that thought!" I've got a huge volume of the Summa sitting on a small table in my dining room, and it will stay there until he gets a chance to tell everyone his brilliant insight on his special day. Isn't this fun???
Here's the plan then: Chapter One, Story of a Soul, Marcel's Book Club at Miss Marcel's Musings, Monday, January 28th, 2019. No need to dress up - come as you are, which is how Jesus loves you!
What time? If I knew, I would definitely tell you! I'm counting on the angels to help me read Chapter One myself, and post here before Tuesday. If you have any insights on Chapter One that you'd like to share before then - or even after then - feel free to "Contact Me" (there's a button for that here somewhere! Look under Marcel's smiling face up on the right) and I promise I won't try to pass your brilliance off as my own!
If I had the chance to provide you all with books, I'd give you the ICS edition of Story of a Soul (translated by Fr. John Clarke, O.C.D.), but since my book budget is depleted at the moment, I'm going to (a) hope you have this edition (b) encourage you to get a copy of this edition, and simultaneously (c) reassure you that whatever edition you read will be exactly what the Holy Spirit wants you to read! God is so good, and every edition is wonderful . . . Besides, if I'm really honest, I'd say that given the chance to provide you all with books, I'd send you Conversations and we'd start MMBC (Miss Marcel's Book Club) in competition with MBC! But alas, funds being what they are, we'll go with Marcel's favorite book instead of my favorite. Simplicity in all things!
I hope you'll make it back on Monday, but meanwhile, we've got a joke and our short prayer to round out this post.
I promised to tell this joke if anyone demanded it, and demand it they did! It may have a familiar ring to it, but it's still hilarious (if you ask me).
So . . . a woman walks into a hotel hoping to check in. It's late, and there's no one behind the counter.
"Nice haircut!" she hears.
Having just gotten her hair cut that day, she's flattered. Until she realizes there's no one in the lobby. Taken aback, she rings the bell calling for service.
"And I love your purse!" she hears.
She turns around, but no one has crept up behind her. Which is usually a good thing, but she's getting nervous. She rings the bell again.
"Did you get your nails done or do them yourself? Love that color!" she hears.
Before she can walk out more quickly than she walked in, a hotel employee appears, entering the registration area from a back room.
"Sorry, to keep you waiting," he says. "This late I do the accounting in the back." He notices her expression. "Is something wrong?"
"I don't know, but I think I'm hearing voices."
"But there's no one here," he says.
"Exactly. But I don't think I was imagining it. First I heard "Nice haircut," then "nice purse," and then something about my nails."
"Oh, yeah, that's the pens," he explains, handing her one. "They're complimentary."
+ + +
Speaking of the peanut gallery, you may have heard this joke here before - but it was about a man walking into a bar, and it was the peanuts that were complimentary. So why pens? Don't ask me, but when I saw them at Barnes and Noble, I had to buy them. Complimentary pens, I'm not kidding! No, I didn't hear voices, but I laughed, a lot, and I'm still smiling. I'm happy to share the joy, but I'd hate to use up the compliments all at once, so I'll give them to you one post at a time. For today, just know that (according to the green pen) "People like to sit near you." Isn't that flattering?
Little Jesus is smiling too, now, seeing us smiling, since a single one of our joys suffices to console Him very much, as He told Marcel. Now He's sure to answer our prayer! Let's include absolutely everyone in it!
Draw me, we will run!
I've written books and articles and even a novel. Now it's time to try a blog! For more about me personally, go to the home page and you'll get the whole scoop! If you want to send me an email, feel free to click "Contact Me" below. To receive new posts, enter your email and click "Subscribe" below.